A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry
By Charles Henry Rowell (Editor)
More than seventy poets are represented in this innovative new anthology of African American poetry since the 1960s.
This is not just another poetry anthology. It is a gathering of poems that demonstrate what happens when writers in a marginalized community collectively turn from dedicating their writing to political, social, and economic struggles, and instead devote themselves to the art of their poems and to the ideas they embody. These poets bear witness to the interior landscapes of their own individual selves or examine the private or personal worlds of invented personae and, therefore, of human beings living in our modern and postmodern worlds.
The anthology focuses on post-1960s poetry and includes such poets as Rita Dove, Ai, Nathaniel Mackey, Natasha Trethewey, Kevin Young, Terrence Hayes, Elizabeth Alexander, Major Jackson, Carl Phillips, Harryette Mullen, and Yusef Komunyakaa - artists who, using a wide range of styles and forms, are cultivating a poetry of personal voice and interiority that speaks against the backdrop of community and anscestry.
"Starred Review. This important if sprawling collection might be the first to give such a full and various account of its subject: African-American poets since the 1960s, and especially since the 1980s, in much of their ambitiously pluralist, confident, and energetic variety...Rowell's fulsome introduction does his poets no favors, and some selections (e.g. Terrance Hayes) favor early work unduly. Yet this big book will also let almost any reader find African-American writers who should be better known." - Publishers Weekly
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Charles Henry Rowell is the founder and editor of the premier literary and cultural journal of the African diaspora, Callaloo. He is a professor of English at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where he lives.
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